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PART FIFTH.
ON THE WILL OF GOD, AND THE UNION OF THE DIVINE AND HUMAN WILL.



CHAPTER III.


ON THE NATURAL AND MORAL SUPREMACY OF THE DIVINE WILL.


Explanations of the natural supremacy of the divine will. — Explanations of its moral supremacy.— Results of the views presented.— The law of right requires the union of the human with the divine will.

THERE is a natural supremacy of the divine will. There is a moral supremacy also. In natural things, it is supreme by nature. In moral things, it is supreme by right. The natural supremacy, which presents itself first for consideration, is fixed, and cannot be otherwise than it is. It is the supremacy which makes and originates; the infinite energy concentered in the one infinite purpose, overspreading all, consummating all. All things which exist, so far as the mere fact of being is concerned, have their existence, both in its origin and its continuance, in the natural supremacy of God's will. In that will, all trees and plants, and all other things which are produced on the earth's surface, have their life. In that will, the sun, and moon, and stars live; and all things and beings that inhabit them. In that will, all men, and all animals inferior to men, in all their varieties, have their origin and their continued support. It is a will
supreme, because everything else is a dependency.

This, it will be noticed, is said in connection with the
physical nature of things. Over all things in their physical nature, there is what may be called a natural or physical supremacy of the divine will, which transcends everything because it is the source of everything.

2. There is also a
moral supremacy of the divine will. God, in the exercise of the natural supremacy of his will, and acting under the direction of his moral nature, created beings like himself, beings having a moral nature. In doing this, he gave them the power to do as they pleased; that is to say, to take any course which they might choose to take within the sphere of their natural or physical capability. But in giving them the power thus to act, which was essential to them as moral beings, he did not give them the right. He could not do it. As a being possessed of all power, he could give them the power to do what they pleased; but, as a being possessed of all holiness, he could give them the right to do only what was right, and nothing else. Further than this, they never had any right, nor ever can have.

3. And the consequence is, that all moral beings, whether men or angels, as they have a right to do only what
is right, have no right to dislocate and remove themselves from under the divine will. The liberty they have of doing as they please undoubtedly gives them the power or enables them to do it: but the law of right, which prescribes in what manner their capability is to be exercised, forbids it. If it is not right for them to remove from under God's will, then it is their duty to remain under it. As moral beings, they cannot do otherwise without a violation of morals. God's will is supreme over them physically or naturally, because their natural or physical life is wholly dependent upon it. It is supreme over them morally, because they cannot abdicate its supremacy without doing a wrong. The supremacy is secured in the one case by a physical necessity; in the other, by a moral necessity. The physical law subjects them to God as physical men; the moral law subjects them to God as moral men.

4. Accordingly, if we carry these principles into particulars, we shall find that, in no case whatever, can we separate ourselves from God rightly. In union alone, that union which is appropriate to the relation of superior and inferior, is there true life. And here, living, not by what we have originally, but by what is momentarily given us, if we need strength, the law of morals requires us to look for it where we can best obtain it. If we need wisdom, we cannot, without a violation of duty, seek it where it is not to be had, but must go to him, who alone has true wisdom. If we need love, which, more than anything else, is the true inspiration of the soul, we must go to him, who, in being himself LOVE, can supply us from the original fountain. And so in every other case. If it be true, as the apostle James asserts, that "every good gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights," then we can have nothing good which does not come from him. And, as the law of duty requires us to seek good in preference to evil, and as we can find the true good in God alone, it is not possible for us, in doing what we ought to do, to take any other position than that of humble recipients. And in that position, bound to submit to a higher guidance if that guidance will be best for us, God's will becomes morally supreme over us, and we can neither be in the right nor the good, except so far as we are in harmony with that blessed will.